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Operator decides to stop running Mumbai Monorail, MMRDA says it can’t take unilateral decision

Services on the 8.9km stretch from Chembur to Wadala have been suspended ever since two rakes caught fire in November last year.

mumbai Updated: Jun 16, 2018 12:13 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Monorail,Scomi Engineering
The services have remained suspended since last year.(Bhushan Koyande)

It is getting worse for the country’s only Monorail. With Monorail services remaining suspended since November last year, a consortium led by Malaysia-based firm Scomi Engineering has decided to pull out from operations of the 19.5-km corridor. However, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said the consortium cannot take the decision unilaterally.

Services on the 8.9km stretch from Chembur to Wadala (phase 1) were suspended after two rakes caught fire in November last year. On the other hand, phase 2 (from Wadala-Jacob Circle) is yet to become operational. The 10.6-km has missed 15 deadlines.

Larsen and Toubro is also part of the consortium.

“They (the consortium) has conveyed to us about pulling out of the operations. But they cannot do so unilaterally. First, they have to commission the entire corridor and acquire spare parts required for rakes,” said Sanjay Khandare, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.

A senior MMRDA official said the tussle between Scomi and MMRDA has been going on for some time now. According to an MMRDA official, Scomi argued that it could withdraw from operations as it had completed three years after commissioning of Monorail.

“It is a matter of interpretation. Phase 1 was commissioned in February 2014. However, the entire project is still not commissioned. They cannot leave work mid-way. It is still responsible for commissioning phase 2 of the project,” the official said.

HT’s emails sent to Scomi and L&T seeking their comment remained unanswered at the time of going to print.

Meanwhile, the MMRDA has started to the process to appoint an agency for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of Monorail. The agency is expected to take over once phase 2 becomes operational. It has also asked the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) to check if the latter can operate the Monorail corridor.

First Published: Jun 16, 2018 00:21 IST